Mute the microphone system-wide with a global hotkey on Windows

MicSwitch is a free program for Microsoft Windows devices to mute the microphone on the device it is run on using a global hotkey.

Instead of having to rely on the functionality provided by voice chat and audio chat applications, which often works only in the program that provides the shortcut, it ensures that the microphone is mute when the key is activated.

The developers main intention with MicSwitch was to create a system-wide solution that is superior to the options provided by programs such as Discord, Skype, or Ventrilo.

MicSwitch allows you to mute/unmute your system microphone using a predefined system-wide hotkey which will affect any program that uses microphone (no more heavy breathing during Skype conferences, hooray!)

MicSwitch supports additional features such as an overlay, audio notifications and more.

Microsoft introduced video conferencing hotkeys in its PowerToys application recently as well which does include a toggle for the microphone that works globally.

The program needs to be installed on the target system before it can be used and requires the Microsoft .NET Framework 4.6.1. It starts automatically after installation and will run a check for updates. Note that it is not configured to run at system start by default, but you can toggle the “run at start” setting to make sure it is.

As far as options are concerned, you can change settings for each microphone individually. MicSwitch supports multi-microphone setups, which may be useful for streamers predominantly.

micswitch-mute microphone hotkey

There is no default hotkey set on first run, you need to set one or two hotkeys that work as global shortcuts to toggle the microphone state. It supports two audio modes, push to talk and toggle, which can be configured in the preferences window as well.

Another option that is provided in the preferences window is the ability to change the audio notifications that play when you mute or unmute the microphone.

A quick test done on a Surface Go device confirmed the functionality of MicSwitch. The muting worked when using the hotkey regardless of forefront application.

MicSwitch displays a small always-on-top indicator on the screen at all times that reveals the state of the microphone. There is no option to disable it but it can be moved and its opacity can be changed.

Closing Words

MicSwitch is a useful program for Microsoft Windows systems as it adds a reliable global shortcut to mute and unmute the microphone. Some users may dislike the always visible microphone indicator that cannot be hidden; an option to hide it would improve the application further.

Now You: Do you mute / unmute your microphone regularly?

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